Emgality (galcanezumab-gnlm) and Ajovy (fremanezumab-vfrm) are prescription drugs that help prevent migraine episodes. Both drugs come as a liquid solution that you inject under the skin. Emgality and Ajovy are not available as biosimilar drugs.
This article explains the main ways that Emgality and Ajovy are alike and different. For more information about these drugs, including details about their uses, see the in-depth articles on Emgality and Ajovy.
You may wonder if Emgality or Ajovy is available as a biosimilar.
Biosimilars are like generic drugs, but are made for biologic drugs.
Whether each drug is available as a biosimilar is included in the list below. The list also includes the name of each drug’s active ingredient. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
- Available as a biosimilar: no
- Active ingredient: galcanezumab-gnlm
- Available as a biosimilar: no
- Active ingredient: fremanezumab-vfrm
Biosimilars will have the same active ingredient core name as the brand-name drug. But they’ll have unique suffixes. This is why “-gnlm” and “vfrm” appear at the end of the names of the active ingredients. This is to show that they’re distinct from biosimilars that may be created in the future.
See the table below for details on the conditions each drug is used for.
|preventive treatment of migraine episodes||✓||✓|
|treatment of episodic cluster headaches||✓|
To learn more about using Emgality or Ajovy for your condition, talk with your doctor.
Here’s an overview of the dosage and how you’ll use Emgality and Ajovy for preventing migraine episodes. The strength of each drug is listed in milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL).
Dosage for preventing migraine episodes
|Emgality for preventing migraine||Ajovy for preventing migraine|
|Forms||liquid solution inside a prefilled syringe or pen for injection under the skin||liquid solution inside a prefilled syringe or pen for injection under the skin|
|Strengths||120 mg/mL||225 mg/1.5 mL|
|Dosage||240 mg for the first dose, then 120 mg once every month||225 mg once per month or 675 mg once every 3 months|
Emgality and Ajovy are both given as an injection under the skin of your abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. Emgality can also be injected under the skin of your buttocks. A healthcare professional will show you or a caregiver how to give Emgality or Ajovy injections at home.
Emgality is also used to treat episodic cluster headaches, but this use isn’t addressed in this article. To learn more about the dosages for all uses of these drugs, see the dosage articles for Emgality and Ajovy.
Emgality and Ajovy may cause mild or serious side effects.
Mild side effects
Both drugs have been reported to cause injection site reactions. With an injection site reaction, you may experience pain or discoloration around the injection site.
Serious side effects
In addition to the mild side effect described above, it’s possible to have an allergic reaction to Emgality or Ajovy. Allergic reactions can include the following signs and symptoms:
- trouble breathing
- angioedema (swelling in certain areas of the body, including the lips, tongue, hands, and around the eyes)
Get answers to some frequently asked questions about Emgality and Ajovy.
Can I use Emgality and Ajovy together?
No, it’s unlikely that your doctor would prescribe both drugs for you to use together. This is because Emgality and Ajovy work in similar ways to help prevent migraine episodes. (They are both calcitonin gene-related peptide monoclonal antibodies.) Combining the drugs isn’t likely to offer extra benefit over using them alone.
If you have questions about this, talk with your doctor.
Is Emgality a better treatment option than Ajovy or vice versa?
Emgality and Ajovy belong to the same group of drugs and cause similar side effects. But Emgality and Ajovy do have some differences in dosage. For example, Ajovy can be injected less often than Emgality. It’s possible that one drug may be a better choice for you, depending on your specific situation.
If you’re considering treatment with Emgality or Ajovy, talk with your doctor. Ask whether one of these drugs may be a better option for you.
You may wonder whether Emgality or Ajovy are effective for your condition.
Emgality and Ajovy are both used to help prevent migraine episodes. Studies of Emgality and Ajovy have shown that both drugs are effective for this use. In addition, the American Headache Society includes both drugs in its
It’s important to note that your results from Emgality or Ajovy may differ from those seen in studies. Talk with your doctor about whether one of these drugs is right for you.
Whether you have health insurance or not, cost may be a factor when you’re considering these drugs. Visit Optum Perks* to get price estimates for Emgality and Ajovy when you use coupons from the site. (Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.)
Keep in mind that what you’ll pay for either drug will depend on your treatment plan, health insurance, and the pharmacy you use.
Emgality and Ajovy are both brand-name biologic drugs. These drugs don’t have biosimilar forms. (Biosimilars are like generic drugs.) You may pay more for brand-name biologic drugs than for biosimilars.
* Optum Perks is a sister site of Healthline.
Emgality and Ajovy may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. These may be referred to as warnings.
The two drugs share similar warnings. These warnings are mentioned below. Before you start using Emgality or Ajovy, be sure to talk with your doctor to see if these warnings apply to you.
- if you’ve had an allergic reaction to either drug or any of its ingredients
- if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant
- if you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed
The short answer: Yes, it’s possible.
Details: Both Emgality and Ajovy can be used to prevent migraine episodes. They belong to the same group of drugs and work in similar ways. It may be possible to switch from Emgality to Ajovy or vice versa.
Emgality is also approved to treat episodic cluster headaches. But Ajovy isn’t approved for this use. If you’re prescribed Emgality for cluster headaches, your doctor isn’t likely to recommend Ajovy as an alternative treatment.
Reminder: You shouldn’t switch drugs or stop your current treatment unless your doctor recommends it. Talk with your doctor if you’re interested in learning more about either drug.
Emgality and Ajovy are both used to help prevent migraine episodes in adults. Emgality has another approved use as well.
If you’re interested in learning more about Emgality or Ajovy, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Below are a few example questions to get you started:
- If I’m still having migraine symptoms while using Emgality or Ajovy, can I try the other drug instead?
- Can Emgality or Ajovy cure my migraine headaches?
- Is my risk of having an injection site reaction the same for both Emgality and Ajovy?
To learn more about Emgality, see these articles:
- All About Emgality
- All About Emgality’s Dosage
- Side Effects of Emgality: What You Need to Know
- Emgality and Cost: What You Need to Know
To learn more about Ajovy, see these articles:
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.